Of horses and vine­yards

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WHEN an es­tate agency prin­ci­pal tells you that in 30 years of mar­ket­ing homes she has never come across one quite as magnificent and ex­pen­sive as Wes­terdale Es­tate’s for which she has now ac­quired a joint sole man­date, this should be a sig­nal to sit up and take no­tice.

That is the sit­u­a­tion in the Cape sub­urb of Dur­banville, sit­u­ated just 30km from Cape Town, where An­natjie Ver­ster has been man­dated to sell a coun­try house on its 6,6ha eques­trian es­tate.

The area of Dur­banville first was es­tab­lished when a group of Tyger­berg farm­ers re­quested per­mis­sion from Lord Charles Som­er­set, the district gov­er­nor at the time, to build their own church in 1825. The Dur­banville web­site, www.dur­banville.info, notes that a small vil­lage grew be­tween the church and the outspan called Pam­poenkraal. In 1836 the in­hab­i­tants of Pam­poenkraal pe­ti­tioned a sub­se­quent gov­er­nor, Sir Ben­jamin D’Ur­ban, for per­mis­sion to re­name the vil­lage D’Ur­ban. Per­mis­sion was granted and the new name per­sisted un­til 1886 when it was re­named Dur­banville to pre­vent con­fu­sion with Dur­ban in KwaZulu-Na­tal. A vil­lage man­age­ment board was es­tab­lished in 1897 and a mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 1901.

The web­site notes that Dur­banville grew rapidly af­ter the turn of 18th cen­tury and a lo­cal in­dus­try de­vel­oped. The area boasted its own court house, jail and mag­is­trate from the 1870’s and be­came a Mag­is­te­rial District of Bel­lville. The court house com­plex still ex­ists in al­tered form within the Rust-en-Vrede com­plex, orig­i­nally erected in 1850.

The past 30 years has seen this area ex­pand even fur­ther, al­though it has kept its ru­ral charm to some ex­tent. It is per­haps this blend of mod­ern liv­ing with the rus­tic feel which has made Dur­banville a pop­u­lar res­i­den­tial node, along with the fact that it is sit­u­ated within min­utes from the main high­way into the Cape Town city cen­tre and the Cape Boland towns, mak­ing it con­ve­niently cen­tral to both busi­ness and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.

It is here, in a ru­ral set­ting yet close enough to the main cen­tre of Dur­banville, that our fea­ture home is sit­u­ated.

Once part of the Meeren­dal wine farm, this dou­ble-storey home boast­ing 1 350m2 of floor area (roughly ten times the floor space of a typ­i­cal mod­ern three­bed­room apart­ment), is de­scribed by Ver­ster as truly ex­cep­tional.

This, said Ver­ster, means that all the main rooms, the bed­rooms and the kitchen are in­cred­i­bly spacious. To give just one ex­am­ple, the main bath­room which has a free­stand­ing bath, cov­ers 80m2 of floor space and in­cludes a steam shower room and a con­ven­tional dou­ble shower.

There are three bed­rooms, all with en-suite bath­rooms, as well as two guest toi­lets and a guest suite with a dress­ing room and Jacuzzi. There is also a base­ment.

The huge open plan kitchen with its cen­tre is­land, two open plan liv­ing rooms and vast re­cep­tion ar­eas with full length glaz­ing make up the en­ter­tain­ment space. Other fea­tures in­clude a home theatre room with a big screen, a sun room, wine cel­lar, li­brary, and an in­door braai area.

The home faces north-east and boasts 180 de­gree views across Dur­banville’s horse pad­docks and vine­yards to the Klein Drak­en­stein hills, which can be seen from most of the rooms.

The owner, who bought the house three years ago, is a prom­i­nent Cape Town ar­chi­tect. He has, says Ver­ster, to­tally re­designed and fit­ted out the orig­i­nal home.

“This was truly a labour of love. His ex­cel­lent taste and de­sign flair are ev­i­dent ev­ery­where. He has in­stalled some of the best fin­ishes I have ever seen, in­clud­ing traver­tine wall and floor tiles and hard dark bam­boo floor­ing.”

The house also has a Con­trol 4 home au­to­ma­tion sys­tem.

The main home is com­ple­mented by a 250m2 flat with three bed­rooms and two spacious liv­ing ar­eas as well as the two semi-de­tached cot­tages set apart from the home. To­gether these cot­tages bring in an in­come of R14 000/month. The prop­erty also has four garages.

On the es­tate there are four large horse pad­docks, all un­der ir­ri­ga­tion, and eight lux­ury sta­bles set well away from the main houses with press and drink wa­ter bowls for the horses. A lo­cal rid­ing school has of­fered to rent these fa­cil­i­ties and any horse lover would, says Ver­ster, be keen to sta­ble his horses here.

Fu­ture wa­ter sup­plies to the es­tate are as­sured by a bore­hole de­liv­er­ing wa­ter to six tanks with a 70 000l ca­pac­ity.

“It goes with­out say­ing,” said Ver­ster, “that a home of this stan­dard in to­day’s mar­ket has to be of­fered at a bar­gain price — and R17,5m re­ally is that. Who­ever be­comes the owner will have the plea­sure of liv­ing in great style in ru­ral Dur­banville — while be­ing only 5km from the vil­lage.” Price: R17,5m Con­tact: Raw­son Prop­er­ties An­natjie Ver­ster 021 975 2124

WITH A VIEW: The enor­mous home, left, is 1 350m2 un­der roof. The magnificent views, above, across Dur­banville’s horse pad­docks and vine­yards to the Klein Drak­en­stein hills, can be seen from most of the rooms.

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